Over the past 30 years, the research behavior of Chinese scholars has continually evolved. This paper studied the citing behavior
of Chinese scholars by employing three indicators of citation concentration from the perspective of citation breadth analysis.
All the citations from 2,338,033 papers from the Chinese Citation Database (1979–2008) covering four disciplines—Chemistry;
Clinical Medicine; Library, Information and Archival Science; and Chinese Literature and World Literature—were analyzed. Empirical
results show a general weakening tendency towards citation concentration: (1) decreasing percentage of uncited published papers
within a given year; (2) a higher percentage of papers required to account for the same proportion of citation than before;
and (3) the steady decline in the Herfindahl-Hirschman index (HHI) of citation distribution. All three measures indicate a
decline in citing concentration or an increase in citation breadth. This phenomenon may be the result of increased access
to materials, perhaps because of the ease with which scholarly materials can be accessed through the Internet.